Here Come The Mermaids

June 13th, 2023

June 13th, 2023

Mermaidcore is definitely the trend of the season, starting with ethereal, romantic looks on the runway and mainstreaming with the release of Disney’s live action Little Mermaid film. Simply put, mermaidcore is all about embracing the overall aesthetic of these mythological creatures and releasing your inner siren

However, to do mermaidcore right, the key is to avoid it from being costume-y. Don’t take it too literally. Think of it as minimalist makeup meets Euphoria. Mermaidcore beauty is somewhere in between those two trends.  Mermaidcore colours range from seafoam green to ultraviolet, the shorter light wavelengths of the colour spectrum that penetrate the depths of the ocean. Iridescence and metallic sheen are also part of the mermaidcore colour palette that are obviously inspired by mother-of-pearl lining inside shells. If you’ve watched David Attenborough or Netflix’s Night on Earth series, you know the extraordinary glow of bioluminescence aptly fits the folklore of the aquatic creature.

Mermaidcore hair looks come straight from the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, with freshly-soaked, slicked-back elegance or majestic hair waves. The beauty look is completed with mermaidcore-coloured makeup and dewy skin that shines under moonlight, when mermaids can swim to the sea’s surface. So, from opting for an extra swipe of highlighter across the cheekbones and decorative pearl accents as a replacement for your everyday eye shadow to nail designs that resemble the movement of the ocean, mermaidcore has taken creativity to a whole new level.

Halle Bailey at The Little Mermaid premiere


Judi Gabbay Braha, a NYC based MUA, says Chic mermaid makeup is all the rage right now. Think, a spinoff of Euphoria-inspired glam and siren eyes. She describes the look as calling for long tresses, waves, or wet-looking hair with glossy skin, sparkling lids, and pops of ocean-inspired aquas and pastels.

There are so many ways to draw inspiration to create a mermaidcore look, says Braha. My take would be open, fluffy brows, a wash of lavenders or sheer aqua blue across the lids, or a pop of color in the inner corner of the eyes. Glossy, fresh skin and lips complement this look well, too.

We round up the key elements of the trend.

Shimmery Eyelids

Nothing says mermaidcore more than shimmery lids. Grab a pearly coral eyeshadow if you want a low-key effect or go all out with aquatic shades like blue and green.

Lavender is also an ethereal choice.  Pair colours to give eyes dimension and depth.

& Other Stories Eye Colour Cream in Moonbeam Magic will give the perfect barely there lustre.

While Charlotte Tilbury Hypnostising Pop Shot in Pillow Talk Ultra Violet will give a multi-dimensional, sparkling pop of colour.

Quartz can be used on lids over pastel shadows or used alone on lids or in inner corners. Partner it with slick-backed hair for a complete mermaidcore look.

Milk Makeup’s Holographic Sticks will add subtle finish to eyes, cheeks, lips and body. These multi-use highlighter sticks glide on and blend easily for the perfect otherworldly effect.  As well as providing lasting hydration, meteorite powder and twilight pearls create a prismatic finish.


Blue Eyeshadow

Channel the enchanting depths of the ocean by incorporating blue eyeshadow into your make-up routine. You can opt for a range of shades, from soft aquamarine to deep sapphire. Apply a lighter shade all over the lid and blend a darker shade into the outer corner for added depth. To complete the look, accentuate your eyes with a swipe of iridescent or holographic eyeshadow on the inner corners, evoking the shimmer-y allure of underwater treasures.

bareMinerals Mineralist Eyeshadow Palette in Stonewashed features six richly pigmented eyeshadows in cool blue tones, grey and taupe finishes, perfect for laying over your lids.

Smudge Iconic London’s double-ended Glaze Crayon in After Hours over your lids and blend out for a sparkling, wet-look glazed effect.


Diamonds and Pearls

To truly embody the spirit of mermaidcore, you need to explore bejewelled make-up looks that emulate the glistening treasures found beneath the sea. Experiment with adhesive gemstones, pearls, or holographic sequins, and carefully apply them to the corners of your eyes, along your temples, or atop your cheekbones. These delicate accents will add a touch of glam to your overall look, reflecting the shimmering magic of a mermaid’s world.

Face Lace Crystal Liners feature AB crystals that reflect golds, pinks and blues, set over super sparkly silver glitter.

If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil diamond-dusted highlighter delivers pure show stopping sparkle on all skin tones.

Glossy Lips

For a truly mermaid-inspired pout, glossy lips that mimic dew-kissed petals are the ultimate answer. You can achieve this aesthetic through lip glosses with shimmering or holographic finishes in shades of iridescent pinks, purples, or even seafoam green. These hues will lend the radiance of a mermaid’s tail to your lips.


Iconic London’s Lustre Lip Oil with the high shine of a gloss and the moisture of a lip balm, is the makeup-skincare hybrid product you need to prep your pout for your siren song.

Kiko Milano x Disney – The Little Mermaid Shine On Me Lip Gloss is a nourishing gloss with a radiant finish.


Radiant Skin

Achieving a luminous and radiant complexion is essential for this trend. Begin by prepping your skin with a hydrating primer to create a dewy base.

Use a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturiser to even out your skin tone while maintaining a natural and fresh, second-skin finish. Highlight your cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow with a liquid or cream illuminator for a subtle, otherworldly glow.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Stick in Confetti can be used anywhere to add sheen and iridescence, the longwear cream-to-powder highlighter stick is weightless, blendable and perfect for layering.

Isamaya Dazzle Up is a moisture-boosting highlighter injected with glistening pearls.


Natural Tones

Mermaidcore isn’t all glitter and cool hues though, the modern mermaid plays up her natural features, whether in water or above it.  If that’s your aesthetic, consider the shades Halle Bailey’s MUA Kat Ali used in the film.

For an effortless summer glow use Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Sticks (£22), the perfect blush all year round.  You can even swipe and blend on the go with the handy design.  Formulated with avocado oil, mango butter and peach nectar, it also hydrates skin. Kat used shade Quickie on Halle.

She also used Tom Ford Eye Quad in Suspicion, MAC Lip Pen in Cork and Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick 174 Rouge Angèlique


Wet-Look Hair

To achieve the mermaid-like appearance that could give even Kim Kardashian’s hairstylists a run for their money, embrace the beauty of wet hair waves. After showering, apply a sea salt spray or texturising mist to add volume and enhance the natural texture of your hair. Allow it to air dry or use a diffuser on a low heat setting to create loose, effortless waves. Finish with a hair oil or serum to dial up the wet appearance. For a touch of whimsy, adorn your locks with seashell or starfish-shaped hair accessories, enhancing the mermaid vibe.

Last month Brooks Nader attended the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Launch in Hollywood, Florida, as if she just walked out of the water.

Try Jerome Russell BStyled Wave and Salt Spray

or Kristin Ess Sea Salt Air Dry Spray.


Faux Tan

And last, but by no means least, nothing says aquatic living more than a healthy faux glow. ICONIC London’s Prep-Set-Tan, with its hydrating hyaluronic acid and subtle shimmering pearl pigments is just the product for the job.


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By Sarah Dann

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